Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (600)

Denise Mitchell


600. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the feasibility of introducing a licence system with a minimum annual fee of €500 to be paid by tobacco retailers; the estimated costs associated with developing, maintaining and administering same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19562/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In 2014 the Government approved the development of a General Scheme of a Bill to provide for measures in relation to tobacco products and nicotine-inhaling products such as e-cigarettes. One of the primary policy objectives of the Bill is the introduction of a new licensing system for the retail sale of tobacco products and nicotine – inhaling products. The levels at which the fees for licences to sell those products will be set have yet to be determined. My department continues to consult with the HSE in developing the provisions for the establishment and maintenance of the licensing system.

In addition to the licensing system the Bill is intended to prohibit the sale of tobacco products from self - service vending machines and from temporary or mobile units and to prohibit the sale of tobacco products at locations intended for children and events organised for children. The legislation will also prohibit the sale of tobacco products by persons under 18 years (the sale of tobacco to persons under 18 is already prohibited) and prohibit the sale of nicotine-inhaling products by and to persons under 18 years.

It is intended that a Memorandum for Government seeking approval to publish the General Scheme of the Bill and to proceed to formal drafting will be submitted in the coming months.